Getting AMPed Up: Google’s Need for Speed
By Winston Burton
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google-backed project initially designed as an open standard for any publisher to build web pages for static content that renders quickly on mobile devices.
In September 2016, Google rolled out AMP across all Google Mobile Search results making it an attractive technology for e-commerce, entertainment, travel, and other non-news sites. AMP pages load about four times faster than non-accelerated pages and use a tenth of the cellular data that normal mobile pages require.
AMP will speed up mobile page load, including structured data to markup content, and streamline ads and other more complex code to improve the mobile experience. Based on my experience, I have seen some brands increase speed and get more conversions using AMP and some of my peers in SEO have gotten great results from using AMP.
AMP Goes Mainstream
Google is taking the AMP initiative to the next level and beyond just mobile pages.
Google recently announced that AdWords users will now be able to use AMP pages as the landing pages for their ads. Google said it is now automatically converting Google Display Network ads (GDN) into the AMP Ads format when they load on AMP pages to speed up their loading time. According to TechCrunch, this feature is now available in beta.
Why is Google Doing This?
Google is trying to speed up the web to create a better user experience and better engagement. The faster that ads load, more users will see the ads. This will also cause visitors to stay on your site longer and engage with your site content which could improve your ROI.
Google did not just stop there, they also announced at the I/O developer conference that the newly optimized Google AMP Cache, together with several other updates on speed, will allow AMP pages to load almost twice as fast from Google Search compared to before.
Google also announced that they made some updates to analytics to support AMP.
AMP Analytics allows you to collect the following data:
- Page data: Domain, path, page title
- User data: client ID, timezone
- Browsing data: referrer, unique page view ID
- Browser data: screen height, screen width, user agent
- Interaction data: page height and page width
- Event data
Should You Be Using AMP?
With Google’s push to make the web faster, it may be a worth testing AMP out to see the impact that is has on your page load time and conversions. If your web page takes more than 3 seconds to load, users will abandon your site and go to your competitor’s site.
AMP solves this problem which could help lower bounce rates and improve your conversions and sales. With Google moving to a mobile-first index soon, page speed could become even more important over time.
AMP could also…
Improve search engine ranking:
- With Google placing emphasis on a positive user experience, fast loading and mobile friendly web pages could potentially give you a leg up over the competition and help improve your search engine visibility.
Increase CTR and Traffic:
- The higher your brand ranks in the first page of Google, the better your CTRs should be which will improve traffic and potentially drive more conversions.
Additionally, with people worrying about their data consumption and being charged overage fees when they use too much of their data, AMP could make things easier if they use ad-blockers. It cuts down the amount of data they use on content that they don’t find particularly useful. If the AMP initiative proves not to use up precious data, then less people will use ad-blockers to save data. With all these potential benefits of AMP it could be worth trying it out, but you will never know until you test it to see if it’s right for you.